Tired of Loud Trains in Claremore? We’re Fixing It!

vintage claremore train depot

The City of Claremore knows that people are sick of trains. One of the major complaints is the noise. And now they’re trying to do something about it.

Claremore has worked up a Master Transportation Plan, which will be presented at the State of the City address in January. The plan will show planned improvements over the next 10 years. First up on the agenda is designating Claremore a “quiet zone.”

Please note that the city is still actively pursuing options to address the traffic situation, as part of the 10-year plan. Solutions for that, such as an over- or underpass, clock in at about $20 million. In the meantime, the noise issue is something that can be handled at a minimal cost for the city.

A study was done about five years ago to determine the cost of the project. For just one of the railways (and remember, we have two in town), the estimate was around five million. Um, that’s a lot. The estimated price for channelization is approximately $60k, and it can be handled by the city. Much better than the millions projected by the railway. It’s a task that needs to be done for safety and quality of life of our citizens, and now it will be.

New assistant city manager David Brown took another look recently, starting with the Federal Railroad Authority. Together, they calculated risk factors on safety, and determined that the minimal requirement to have Claremore be a quiet zone is to have a single gate at each crossing. Out of our 18 crossings in town, 17 are already gated. The only one that’s not is at Country Club Road, just west of Walmart, at Dr. Cash-Warren’s veterinary practice. The city got a quote from BNSF on getting that crossing taken care of.

train-song

The other thing that will need to be done is called “channelization.” Five crossings on each line will be “channeled”, which involves some concrete work. Best news? Rather than paying millions of dollars, the city has the capacity to do the channeling work, as long as the railroads approve. This means the work will get done sooner rather than later, as the railroads have a waiting list of projects.

Channelization will also act as a safety measure, because vehicles will not be able to dart around barricades. (Dodging barricades is just a bad idea all the way around, folks.)

 

The team from the city is scheduled to meet with both railroad lines and the Federal Railroad Authority in mid-February. The plans have already been submitted, and the February meeting will consist of a diagnostic on-site review of the project. Upon approval, work can begin in mid-March. Of the 18 crossings, seven or eight will be channelized.

Crossings will be closed one at a time for one day each. Much of the work will be done during low-traffic times, so there will only be minor delays. Work should be completed by the end of 2016.

After that, trains will only blow horns if the engineer sees a safety issue. This will be a relief to citizens, as well as guests at all of our lovely new hotels. And just think, every time a train blows past City Hall or the gazebo, meetings and concerts won’t be disrupted. Overall, this will improve quality of life for Claremore.

 

If you have any questions, please contact Assistant City Manager David Brown at dbbrown@claremorecity.com.

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38 COMMENTS

  1. The real problem I have is getting caught at a crossing umpteen times a day. I can roll my window up just fine to muffle the noise. The real fix would be to start replacing crossings with over or under passes and quit two stepping.

  2. I agree with Jim Black. Over pass is a much better answer. I don’t like the idea of an underpass due to flooding. They have been fighting this for more years than I can remember.

  3. So they are going to spend millions of dollars “fixing the train noise” instead of fixing the traffic issue? Seems like they should hold off on that work and put that money aside for the bigger project of an overpass or bypass. If they put money into this project, they will just have to undo it later whenever the real fix is installed because everyone knows the real problem is not the noise, it’s the traffic congestion at the tracks!

  4. This has got to be one of the dumbest things this city has done in a while. People complain about getting stuck at crossings every day. Instead of making over/underpasses, our city officials decide the best thing to do is make sure trains are quiet and enjoyable while your stuck waiting on them…

  5. Teresa the bills go up 5% as of 1/1. We already have to pay for GRDA’s new facility. And the high water rate increases to cover the water facility that was built, didn’t run, being torn down and new one built.

  6. Well, contrary to the many complaints here, I am extremely excited about this. I live and work close to the tracks. This will help significantly with conference calls and visitors sleeping and make the entire town more pleasant! We want people to visit Claremore and remember all of our neat exciting things, not how loud the trains are. Way to go city! One step to better our town! I’m sure alternate crossings are in our future. One win at a time.

  7. Please note that the city is still actively pursuing options to address the traffic situation, as part of the 10-year plan. Solutions for that, such as an over- or underpass, clock in at about $20 million. In the meantime, the noise issue is something that can be handled at a minimal cost for the city.

  8. If you live here for any amount of time you understand that the noise is the least of our problems, the not being able to get across town is the issue and has been for the last 40 years. Fix the traffic issue first with an overpass!!

  9. Not addressing the crossing problem, I have a hard time understanding why my tax dollars would be used to address the noise problem the railroad generates. If I own a business that generates noise, to the level of it being a safety concern, you are telling me I, as a business owner, am not responsible for it? And that the city will take care of it? Seems the entity generating the problem would be responsible to “keep their dog from barking” not the neighbors having to bear the expense to insulate their property from hearing it. If you get my drift.

  10. It doesn’t fix the traffic problem, but fixing the traffic problem won’t be a possibility for quite some time. The traffic problem is $20,000,000 and will take a very long time to save up for. Why not save up for that in silence? It’s fixing half of the whole for .3% of the whole cost. Good job, Claremore. Proud to live here.

  11. How many of those complaining attend city council meetings? Stop complaining without taking action. Get to know the people working so hard for us. You have no idea what they are up against. The city was literally built AROUND the train tracks… And those trains have a lot more money and control than the City does.

  12. I’m sure the city would really appreciate your $20 million dollar donation, because I’m sure you all that are complaining have that check made out and ready to mail to the city. Until that happens, I’ll take the quiet zone.

  13. Yeah , common sence is the traffic issue , last I heard on the news few mos. ago was 120 trains pass through Claremore a day . Therefore makes a major traffic problem , especially when schools let out , businesses on lunch breaks , Emergency vehicals can’t get thru , how many lives lost being hit by trains , or lives lost cuz emergency vehicals can’t get through in time to get to hospital to save that ones life. Has anyone , thought that this should be more important , the sound doesn’t kill anyone ! Good grief where has common sence gone in this city !

  14. Seriously? Ok everyone knew the consiquences of moving close to a train track.. I, myself, would love to see the roads improved. Face it trains are loud… they block traffic… plan your trips to town better… that is a way more cost efficient solution… all that the “channelization” and “under/over passes” will do is make the city tacky, it will not be 100% that either is an effective solution… so then we spend more money fixing these things when they don’t work. So for the low men/women on the totem pole just means higher taxes.

  15. Trains are loud. They have to be. Sometimes people have headphones in while walking or music up real loud in their car. Sometimes they just don’t pay attention. The sound should be the least of the worries here! Traffic should be priority, as well as electric… Crime… Etc. Not the sound of the train. Anyone that moved to claremore or lives in claremore, knows there are trains. Its one of the many things this awesome town is known for!!

  16. You know what’s worse than Claremore’s train problem? Claremore’s attitude problem. Sure, we have some of the best people in world living here. We bond together in tragedy and are generous with our neighbors but there is this attitude problem. It’s disgusting, disheartening and most who have the negative disease don’t even realize that they are the ones spreading it. Do we have problems? You betcha! But complaining about it and running down the people trying to improve the community isn’t helping. If you don’t shut down the negative conversations, YOU are a part of it. Get involved. Attend council meetings. Volunteer! It’s kinda like that saying, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.” It also reminds me of that other saying about opinions and a certain body part. Everybody’s got one and most of the time it stinks. You are either a part of the problem or part of solution.

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